Auburn, Ala.--With the quarterback competition still ongoing for the Auburn Tigers coming out of spring football practice, Coach Gus Malzahn said he feels good about the position with senior Jeremy Johnson, sophomore Sean White and junior college transfer John Franklin all battling for the starting job.
While the position is still up in the air, Malzahn said they’re hoping that things get settled fairly quickly in preseason camp to allow the offense to get in sync before the season opener against Clemson.
“I feel very good about the three guys we have and they are set to compete in fall camp,” Malzahn said. “I’m hoping we can name one of those guys the starter early in fall camp rather than later in the fall camp so they can actually get reps with the ones and all that. I think we’re in a good spot quarterback-wise.”
John Franklin, a transfer from junior college who enrolled at Auburn in January, is shown in the A-Day game.
Part of the competition in the spring was having the quarterbacks go live for full contact in several scrimmage situations. That resulted in Tyler Queen injuring a shoulder late in the spring.
“We’re hoping we don’t have to go live," Malzahn said of the preseason practices that will start in August. "We did that this spring twice. We’re hoping we don’t have to do that. We will if we have to, but we’re hoping somebody will separate themselves early rather than later and they can start working with the ones. That’s our goal.”
Even though the head coach said he feels good about the guys on campus there has been plenty of buzz surrounding Auburn when it comes to graduate transfers at the position. While at the moment it’s still just talk, he didn’t shut down the idea completely when asked about the possibility of adding another quarterback to the roster.
“We’re not commenting on what we’re pursuing or not pursuing,” Malzahn said. “We feel good about our three we have.”
Sean White, shown at the Birmingham Bowl, finished the 2015 season as the starting QB.
In the end the quarterback battle is expected to come down to the one who does the best job of making the team better. “Somebody that will separate themselves and give us the best chance of winning,” Malzahn said. “From a coach’s standpoint that’s a lot of things. You have instincts and most of the the time the players and coaches will know it together.”